Friday, December 30, 2005
i can't stop thinking about ennis del mar and jack twist, so could someone please go see brokeback mountain so i have someone to talk to about it.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
sara and i decided to go and put more holes in our bodies after and both got our noses pierced. we'd been thinking about it for awhile and decided to just go and do it. and here we are.
it sort of tickles and i just want to rub my nose.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
go see it, i insist.
Monday, December 26, 2005
it all stemmed from a festivus party at a friend's the night before, which although i was a bit apprehensive about, was rather enjoyable and it was good to catch up with people, some of whom i have not seen in years.
christmas eve was nice and our annual party was followed by a quiet family christmas day. my little brother woke me up at 7:59am since my mom made a rule that no one was allowed to be up before 8:00am. presents, turkey, jackass episodes, a game of cranium, and a balmy 12 degrees - what more is christmas about?
i am loving having a couch to sit on, home cooked meals, and a bed bigger than a single! i am worried time is passing too quickly though and before i know it, i'll be on another plane. and there are all those papers that need writing...
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
wow, did i actually just type that sentence?! smart and fashionable are not mutually exclusive.
calgary feels good, feels like home and feels like christmas. feels like a lot of money that no one knows what to do with, too. since when are a pair of mittens at the gap $30?
i have had one egg nog latte and it was pure festivity. add to that one holiday tea and i am in the spirit.
what is with middle aged calgary women in flared jeans and pointy boots acting so pretentious? get over yourselves and drive your jacked up mini van/suv home to the suburbs.
drinking with your mom on a tuesday night may actually be one of my new favourite activities.
Monday, December 19, 2005
we went directly to my grandparents' house for christmas and it was almost as magical as when we were young, i think it had something to do with having kids around and a full house. my favourite part was everyone eating at a long table, sitting my noisy cousins and uncle at one end and managing to pass brussel sprouts and jelly salads to everyone. it was really great and so nice to feel as though this family, with all its idiosyncrasies and loudness, is mine.
i had alberta beef today for lunch. an albertan girl who doesn't like meat always seems to have space for a little alberta beef.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
the campus is dead and rather depressing, makes me wonder what the summer months will be like.
it is strange to be packing for a 3 week visit home. taking a vacation to your own house. at least i don't have to pack shampoo and dental floss. i will pack a tooth brush and deodorant though, those are always important on long journeys. if only everyone on those long flights appreciated the beauty of a clean mouth and fresh smelling pits.
i still think i have too much stuff. sadly, i have not learnt how to pack properly. i can say that i am not sure if i will ever learn how exactly to bring only what you need. a concept as equally elusive as economics to me.
i managed to get myself out of a rather hairy situation only to find myself in another, which is far more hurtful and already involves more people than it should. why can't i ever do things from front to back rather than from back to front?
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
it was such a nice night; i love that feeling when you know you should leave, but the conversation is so interesting and lively that you wish you were not so tired so you could stay. it was nice to share ideas, apprehensions, and opinions about our academic program, i don't feel quite as alone or worried about what lies ahead for our dissertations.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
now i want to learn how the hair dresser (stylist? i never know what to call them) can straighten my hair so well that i have worn it for 2 days, slept on it once, and walked in the rain and it is STILL NOT FRIZZY. wow. i am going to try for day 3 which might not actually be that hard because apparently our flat has not had hot water all day.
i love my new hair, i especially love it because while it was being done i did not have to make small talk and i just sat and read my book. would you like to know a little known fact about me? i am really bad at small talk. i revert back to my childhood of shyness and come out with stupid giggles and ask dumb questions to which i already know the answer.
i am drinking coffee to stay awake for the first time in my life. i have never been so dependent on caffeine to keep going, but i suppose that the life of the student requires some substance dependence and caffeine is better than most.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
i woke up this morning and the sky was bright blue and the sun was shining and i knew what i needed to do. the same thing i should have been doing every sunday morning since i got here... go for a run.
it was tough because my lungs are not as used to it as they were in the summer during the heyday of hills, but it felt great! i have no idea how far i went, according to my garmin it was over 100km (silly thing couldn't pick up a gps signal) but it was 44 minutes, which i figure is not bad considering i am rather out of practice.
what a nice way to start a day.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
what a fantastic photo.
my three favourite things about today were:
- the student's union shop gave me a pen because i bought one yesterday and they did not put it into my shopping bag, made a potentially frustrating situation so easy to deal with
- coming across some material in the library on the North's use of peacebuilding in the South to promote their own interests
- the man who works at the post office helped me to lick and stick all my stamps, never a fun task
- an invitation for chinese take out and a pint for tomorrow
now i realise that there are 4 but i didn't want to take one out once i thought of them all.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
i think i am getting a sore throat, right now it is just that prickly feeling on the right side of my throat, but i can sense it. best to treat this one with tea and a good night's rest. the tea is easy, it is the good night's rest that seems to be the problem lately.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
this time, the story of the sister with her brother with mental illness really got to me. everytime a different story seems to resonate more than the others; perhaps that is the beauty of the movie.
i also burnt my tongue on tea today and now i fear that i will have that burnt tongue feeling all day tomorrow.
my uk christmas shopping is almost done and i am feeling rather good about that. nice to get SOMETHING near completion even if it is not a paper for school. i tell you, this online shopping is so damn convenient. although it doesn't allow me to fluff clothes out to take a better look for size, fabric, quality. those fluffers used to drive me nuts when i worked at the gap because you would have to follow them around the store, refolding everything that they fluffed. but it really is a necessary evil, especially when shopping for gifts.
three of my shopping pet peeves are:
- putting my receipt in the bag without asking me first if i want it (i always want it)
- giving me change back with the coins ON TOP of the bills (this is convenient for no one, why do they do it?)
- when i have to go and find someone to let me into a fitting room to try something on
Saturday, December 03, 2005
it was orange flavoured chocolate.
let this be a lesson never to open your advent calendar early.
just a few more gifts to buy, a few more days to enjoy tea and crumpets, and more than two weeks worth of research that i will naively try to fit into two weeks and i will be on my way home. please preare the eggnog lattes!
the day i get home i will be going straight to the traditional knouse family pre-christmas christmas, where i will probably fall asleep in my mashed potatoes and gravy, but i am really looking forward to it even if i won't have a clue what day it is.
so maybe steve will lower the gst...but doesn't it seem a bit ironic that he also wants us to write off the liberals for the things they have done in the past but he is backstepping on what HIS government brought in? i really don't know who i will vote for (eventhough some people seem to think i see things only one way), it really depends on where my vote will count, in my home riding or in some magical, international riding. i don't know how they figure these things out. considering i am a politics student, i should probably know.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
the united nations has declared december 1st world aids day.
so i have one message for you - wrap it up!
last year at this time i was in red deer at the college attending a central alberta aids organisation's talk where i answered a question and got a free pair of socks, it was a good time. anticipation and excitement for south africa and a rather positive moment in the world of my canada world youth experience. that project has taken on a life of its own in my memory. so nice to be independent and free again and yet i learned a lot and met some fabulous people.
now if they would just stop sending me those emails about getting signatures on their petition.
today is also the first day of a new budget month and the first day i get to eat an advent calendar chocolate. exciting developments because now i can get some more groceries (ok, and maybe a new pair of boots) and have a chocolate a day!
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
i managed to find my inspiration to get working on term papers. i love when you come across some interesting information and can't write it down fast enough. i forgot how i love to pour through articles and pile the books up on the side of my desk as proof of how much i have accomplished. i think my brain works better when i take off my shoes and put my feet on my chair. i love shoes but i take them off at any chance i get.
yesterday i learned that if you live in your own tiny room that has rather sound proof walls, you can chew gum and make smacking sounds as loudly as you like. i have never done this before because i hate listening to other people chew, but it was actually... sort... of... fun. and seemed to help me concentrate.
Monday, November 28, 2005
ok, so this story is an only in canada/calgary
I was driving home today and something catches my eye.
this guy has a dead deer in his flat bed strapped to a quad driving down glenmore
a deer, seriously on the road, in the city
I was trying to get closer and check it out better
and then school buses are all around and I am thinking oh no, the kids are going to think it is a reindeer
it was gross and funny at the same time, I just kept thinking, only in calgary I am sure
the christmas party was a success and i hope that it did a little to get all our guests into the spirit.
good thing my ani difranco cd arrived today. just the kind of music i am in need of today. and you know it is never good when you need ani.
like all the others, this too shall pass.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
perhaps what i was most proud of at the end of the conversation was that i have faith that this person has all the skills necessary to find their way through the dilemma and that i am lucky enough to have so many people in my life who are so capable and yet are willing to say that sometimes they don't have a clue.
i feel the same way everyday.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
unfortunately, this means that i need to cancel my work out non-date and better manage my time. no reading my book (which i am almost done), no knitting mittens, no more baking cookies...
have you seen the movie Downfall? well, you should. you know a good movie when you can sit through two and a half hours and not feel as though you are counting down the minutes until it is over. makes war look real while at the same time emphasising the surreality of it all. i am unquestionably no nazi sympathiser, but i do think that it is easy to condemn the people on the fringes in hindsight. makes me wonder if those of my generation can even conceive what is seemingly inconceivable. watch it, then let's talk about the amazing actor that played hitler.
don't you wonder what they are thinking? stephen is up to something and is trying to sit fancy so that no one will pick up on his smirk and paul is trying to be cool and pretend that he doesn't know anyone is watching.
an election is on the way, interesting times in canadian federal politics.
Monday, November 21, 2005
i even had an assistant baker who helped me whip the butter and sugar by hand, as that gets tiring if it is a one person job.
and i had more than enough chocolate chips, so i ate the leftovers because what else do you do with a few handfuls of chooclate chips?
the dollar hit a new high yesterday, 2.02 dollars to 1 pound!
since when did i age rapidly and sit around and talk about the weather with such regularity?!
but really, the fog deserves a mention.
so does the lack of chocolate chips in this one horse town. is "one horse town" a canadian phrase? sounds rather western now that i think about it. it is what my sister and i call cochrane cause there really is this one statue of a horse.
when i attended a jann arden concert once she mentioned how ridiculous it is that alberta has a town called cochrane AND one called balzac, which really is quite funny when you think about it.
but how is a girl expected to make chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips? that is like a pb&j without the pb.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
i went to leeds yesterday, a nice place with an industrial charm. and tonnes of people, but that is nothing new, there are 60 million people crammed on to this tiny island and northern ireland.
can a person learn how to patient? anyone have any tips? i am realising more and more everyday what an impatient person i am. i once had a boss who said that people who were patient were not dynamic, so maybe i should embrace my impatience and make it work to my advantage. i bought a cadbury's advent calendar that is sitting in front of me, making me impatient for december to hurry up and start so i can eat some chocolate!
yesterday was the coldest i have been so far in england. it is definitely winter but i like the crispness (is that a word?) of the air when there are no clouds and the sun is shining and you can see your breath.
today i learned that the korean war was in fact not an act of collective security. yesterday i learned how to put my cds on itunes. tomorrow i hope to learn how to bake cookies, prepare a presentation, and work out all in the same night.
Friday, November 18, 2005
outside: a photo of 2 fancy old ladies sitting on a park bench with the words "Is it' butt naked' or 'buck naked'?"
inside: These are the kinds of questions I come to you for.
ok, i realise that this is not half as funny without this picture of this two old bitties on the front, but ask me sometime and i will show it to you and i guarantee you will laugh out loud. thank you sara for sending me such nice goodies along with the hilarious card and to taylor and hunter for the other cute card!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
i visited with my auntie and nana in liverpool for lunch and tea. i stopped at a lovely street florist on the way and bought some flowers and felt so metropolitan riding the train with my bouquet.
i love giving gifts. perhaps because it makes me feel good. maybe that is why i love christmas so much. i also love receiving gifts, especially when my auntie empties the change from her wallet and gives it to me because 'students don't have very much money,' then she insisted that i take a taxi instead of take a 2 minute walk.
even for someone who strives for new levels of independence, it is nice to be taken care of once in awhile.
my newest thing that i know is that my nana doesn't eat poultry either, i wonder if it was built into my genes?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
i have corrected more than a few people in the past days about the difference between the words 'eskimo' and 'inuit.' someone also tried to explain to me what lacrosse was too. i can't blame people's ignorances, especially because no one is immune to the phenomena of ignorance, but it gets tiresome.
i learned another new thing today. perhaps didn't learn it so much as realise it:
i cannot get frustrated over all the talk of theories in my course that all lead me to believe the entire population of the earth is doomed, because in the realm of theories it is our job to analyse and reanalyse and make arguments and pick apart arguments and discuss and discuss and discuss. although i love thinking big thoughts and making my brain wrap itself around a theory, i am a do-er. i don't think that academic study for the sake of academic study is very useful unless you DO something with it. but now is not yet the time and here is not the place. all in good time.
i still think the world is doomed. in a rather hopeful way, if that is possible.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
i went to a town in the lake district today and visited a museum full of stuff that in canada would be considered Really Old, i love history. the town was the centre of the wool industry in england at one point and then that damn cotton replaced it. still lots of sheep in the countryside, looks like a fairy tale.
i had my first crumpet today. spongy, rubbery, and delicious.
i also managed to lose a pair of mittens, find a pair of mittens, lose a return train ticket, get home without a ticket, and pay almost $5 for tomatoes; a big day for stupid mistakes and inexplicable luck.
and i have committed myself to cheering jerome and the boys on in torino, italy. i have even secured a team canada jersey for the event. would anyone like to join me in supporting the true north strong and free?? the more the merrier, i hope that we can get on the cbc!
Friday, November 11, 2005
i was so nervous for my first dinner guest, butterflies in my stomach and everything. i was quite worried that a) i would not have enough food, b) i would ruin the salmon as i have never really cooked it all by myself, or c) that my dinner guest, a fellow canadian, would be deathly allergic to basil or parsley or asparagus. it is common etiquette to warm someone if you have a serious aversion or allergy to a certain food? i think it should be if it is not already.
the dinner turned out wonderfully and i impressed even myself with the way it all worked together so well. i even set the table nicely and had a compliment on my cooking... i bet some of you never would have predicted that!
after dinner we went to see charlie and the chocolate factory. that johnny depp is fascinatingly weird, or should i say willy wonka? an entertaining movie, especially the musical oompa loompa scenes! i love a packed theatre.
i observed my two minutes of silence in the library with all the other library goers today. didn't it used to be one minute? i didn't mind at all, nice to have a moment of clarity.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
it is far too easy to be fashionable here and i discovered a store that is similar to old navy in price (maybe even cheaper) but more like zara in trendy knock-offs. after i fought off the women with strollers, the girls with the giant fake fur vests, and visited the fitting rooms a total of three times, i made off with some rather fabulous things. tomorrow i will go back to learning about how western developed countries consume too much and the guilt will start pouring over me. i will wait until then to start reconciling it.
another observation about the uk: there are very few independent booksellers, coffee shops, restaurants, or bars. they are all part of chains that are found in every city all over this tiny island. makes finding a cozy spot to curl up with a latte and a good book quite difficult. i passed by the starbucks today and the chai latte was literally calling my name. i went into the store, saw that it would cost over $5 for the smallest size, and told that little voice to shut up and that i can wait until december.
seeing as this site is all about the things i know and the things i am learning i will share a lesson i learned the hard way today: when trying to produce less waste and carry fewer bags by refusing the bags that every shop offers you, it is best to double bag things, otherwise the handles of the cheap plastic bag will disintegrate and you will be left carrying your parcel in your arms for the walk from the bus stop to your house.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
my day was brightened due to the arrival of FIVE pieces of mail. two more of the books i was expecting, some bank junk, and a card with a tea bag contraption from my mom, it all made me smile. even the bank stuff because it said that i was approved for a credit card! now i just have to figure out how this tea bag contraption works.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
the concern with immigration and immigrants is troublesome to me. maybe because that idea of a cultural mosaic that we learned about in grade seven social studies really stuck. maybe because i come from a country with more than enough space. maybe because i realise that the issue is so much larger than simply immigrants taking locals’ jobs. this situation in paris is not helping though. so sad and disheartening.
i successfully averted a plant-related crisis when penelope’s flowers were all droopy and so sad looking, i thought her next stop would be the garbage can, but i filled her up with water and in a few minutes she was perky again. close call.
Friday, November 04, 2005
in other news, i bought a basil plant so that i don't have to throw the last half out of the package of basil because i cannot manage to eat it quickly enough. how much basil can one person possibly eat in a week? i will name him sherlock and i hope that he and penelope thrive in the windowsill. as long as they are not watered too often. i also bought a parsley plant because they were on some buy-one-get-one-cheap dealy and everyone knows how i love a deal! the parsley plant is yet to be named, suggestions are welcome.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
they just don't know what that albertan girl has accomplished. clearly, they missed her barefoot performance at alberta's 100th birthday.
i am listening to hymns of the 49th parallel to prove a point. and because i like it.
on this rainy day, i could use a little alberta sunshine and a nice hot coffee in a small coffee shop with some heart warming conversation and soul rejuvenating laughter.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
i think i am becoming addicted to online shopping. when they british are not text messaging, they are making online purchases and i now understand the inescapable pleasure in the search, the credit card details, the shipping address. some things are actually cheaper online and the anticipation of a package in the mail is reason enough to spend the money!
tonight i bought 3 used books - the constant gardener (i was left wanting more after the film), white teeth (zadie smith), and 44 scotland street (alexander mccall smith, to honour my recent trip to edinburgh and my newest favourite city). i will prepare progress reports on my enjoyment of each.
speaking of books, i must recommend The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni, a delight. i am going to start giving out book awards and this book is the first recipient of the Quarterman Distinction.
at one point in the story a character worries that she is so happy that one day she may wake up to realise that the happiness is over. i am really relating to that sentiment right now. i suppose in the grand scheme, it is not a bad place to be.
a fresh cup of tea awaits...
Monday, October 31, 2005
part of my day was spent solving the mystery of the missing dishes.
seriously, is it so difficult to wash something after you have used it?!
Sunday, October 30, 2005
edinburgh is now on my list of favourite cities and i will go back again, the atmosphere is fantastic and the streets are so pretty. the new parliament is a bit out of place, but right across the street the grounds of holyrood palace were pretty impressive. the lady in charge has things running smoothly around there and you can buy the most hilarious post cards of the royal family in the giftshop, i couldn't resist.
we went on a ghost tour that was not so spooky and visited the grand old castle, drank whiskey, ate haggis, drank beer, and crashed an irish stag. i hope my photos do the weekend justice, although you never can capture entirely the most hilarous moments or the best story i have to tell in awhile.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
but now i am officially part of the richard branson world takeover. i tried to avoid it, but it was next to impossible.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
my nana is 86 and she is full of fantastic 86 year old thoughts and knowledge and i have only really started to get to know her. i don't know why visting and saying good bye makes me so sad when i have only ever met her a handful of times in my life. i hope to learn something from her in the course of the next year and to create something lasting.
i was thinking i could write her a letter or card now and again and show up with a new novel or her favourite biscuits. just because someone cannot hear does not mean they cannot read a nice handwritten letter. and who doesn't love a little mail now and again? i know i do!